The accident occurred at about 4:39 pm local time. Police said it was not yet clear whether this was an act of terrorism. The suspected driver has been arrested and is in custody. The investigation into the cause of the accident is still in the beginning stage.
The car passed through a roadblock and was supposed to enter the parade at high speed. “The sports car came at full speed,” said a 39-year-old witness who watched the show with her family from the sidewalk. “Then I heard people screaming.” The woman and her 3-year-old daughter took refuge in a restaurant while her husband was trying to help the wounded.
A video posted on social media shows a red SUV entering the show from behind. In a second video, police appear to open fire on the same vehicle as it breaks through the barrier. A police spokesman confirmed that an officer fired on the car. There were no reports of injuries among passersby. According to the police, no shots were fired from the car itself.
Panic erupted during the accident, according to American media. People were chanting the names of relatives. A video clip shows a woman screaming “Oh my God” after a group of dancing girls with Santa Claus hats crashed into a car.
See the first photos of the SUV attack on the Christmas Parade here. The text continues below the video.
Wounded children, adults and priest
Eyewitnesses spoke of dozens of people lying on the ground. Emergency services rushed to the scene.
“There were pompoms, boots, and hot chocolate everywhere,” Cory Montehu, a board member at nearby Waukesha School, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. I had to pass one body to another to find my daughter. My wife and daughter were almost injured. “My family is safe, but a lot of them aren’t. I held a little girl’s head in my hand, she had an epileptic fit and was bleeding from her ears. I held her mother collapsed. Please pray for everyone. Please pray.”
Fox News reported that several schoolchildren were injured. According to the Milwaukee Archdiocese, one of those infected is a Catholic priest, as are “Catholic schoolchildren from Waukesha” and “several parishioners.”
An eyewitness reported that the driver drove an SUV over a number of elderly women who were part of the Dancing Grannies group who participated in the annual parade in the city. According to another witness, at least four women from this group were hit by the car, the New York Post reported.
Bryden Kowalski, 19, attended the show with his family and said he “saw bodies flying everywhere”. “He just blew people up, he hit a lot of people, bodies were flying everywhere,” Kowalski told Fox News. “These people were not run over, they were thrown into the air. Many people were thrown into the air.” There were a lot of people who had their limbs broken, and a lot of people were screaming. It was terrible.”
The White House said President Joe Biden was briefed on events in Waukesha. The White House is closely monitoring the situation. “We sympathize with everyone affected by this horrific incident,” a government official said. He also said that assistance has been offered to local authorities.
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